Thankful Thursday: Acceptance

How well do you accept things – mainly change?  Do you adjust quickly or do you fight it all the way?   Do you embrace change or close your eyes ignoring it is happening?

Since my health issues started in 2012, it has been a roller coaster ride of acceptance.  When the diagnosis of MS  finally came in 2017 I realized it would be physically challenging, emotionally draining, and around-the-clock exhausting with some extremely lonely times. The truth is for those who don’t have it, you can’t understand the challenges or how it is different in each person.  On the surface, I accepted things.  Those closest to me saw the struggles but I was still living a kind of denial.

I had been having a run of good days – when there is no brain fog, moving okay just a little slow and making it through most of the day before I was totally drained.  Then there are the days which take an extraordinary amount of effort to complete even a simple task. Try going through a day not knowing if you will be able to manage another moment of fatigue, dizziness, muscle weakness, dropping anything you get your hands on, and feeling as if you don’t have the strength to hold it together for one more second.  I accepted these minor challenges too… or at least I thought I did.

When I started my journey again working through my addiction, I realized I have never really accepted my MS diagnosis.  Why was accepting I’m an addict so much easier than accepting I have MS.   On most days I admit to those around me the limitations I have especially with memory as a result of my MS. Acceptance, right?  Then,  I came across this definition of acceptance in an NA reading.  “Acceptance is an opening of your heart to the realities of life and to the ways in which you have been impacted by your life choices. It means you don’t fight against the realities of your life, but accept them for what they are and use them to grow as a person and move forward in life. Accepting life on life’s terms.  Accepting the things you can not change while you focus on the things you can“. The truth is, I have not truly accepted my MS diagnosis.

Last week, I was told by disability “you are not considered disabled”.  One of their reasons was “you can use your arms and hands so basically go to work” and instead of getting angry, I started to wonder if they were right.  Then I was told by the physical therapist, I had flunked the balance test!  She said “you are a fall risk and need to have a cane with you”.  SMACK!  She had me pegged though, she said “you still think of yourself as an independent woman who can take care of everyone else”.  It took both of these things to make be realize I was still fighting the realities of my life.  I continue to fight the things I can’t change instead of focusing on the things I can change.  I can’t change I’m a 62 year old woman who struggles most days with MS both physically and mentally.  What I can change is the way I decide to handle things………working on eating healthier, getting sleep, getting up and moving when I feel up to it instead of just sitting around then resting when my body says it is time.

Now, your struggle with acceptance could be much different.  The difficulties you face may be different from mine, but I am convinced there is someone, somewhere in the world who is going through the same overwhelming moments as you. Just because you don’t hear about them or know them personally doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Believe me, I have been there.

Whatever your challenge, it’s okay to feel like you’re falling apart.  Eventually things will get better and you will find new ways of coping with all the changes happening in your life. I can guarantee it, but in the moment or in the heat of the battle it may not seem like it’s even possible.  I know, I am there fighting the battle of acceptance right now – with you.

It’s okay to ask for help.  I’m grateful for the rooms of NA where I can dump my stuff on the floor and walk away feeling a little less like a hot mess.  Find someone you can talk with about ways to help you manage your emotional chaos.  There is still hope for a better tomorrow whatever your challenge may be. I believe in you even when you don’t believe in yourself.

When all else fails, repeat the Serenity Prayer and wait for an answer.  Of course waiting for an answer is not one of my strong points.  Answers will always come but they may not be in a way we expect them or it may not be the answer we want….. expectations is a whole other topic.  LOL.

So, just for today, focus on the things you can change.  Accept life on life’s terms and count your blessings.

Have a blessed day!

 

In God’s Waiting Room

 

Thank you Rachel Wojo for today’s message…

I have a confession to make. I’m terrible at waiting. Whether in a doctor’s office waiting room, parent pickup line, or restaurant waiting area, I strategize ways to wait the least amount of time.

If you can use an app and wait less time than standing in line? I use it. If you can order ahead and potentially wait less time? I do it. Now I realize that this is not all bad; I certainly don’t want everything in life to be a journey. But what if the desire for instant gratification is so strong that it makes me miss important parts of growth and relationship?

At some points in my life, I’ve felt like I was sitting in God’s waiting room. Oh, I know; there were no magazines and no chairs. But for reasons unknown to me, I was waiting on God. To send answers. To open an opportunity. To create a new situation.  Whatever the circumstance, it was outside my control and I felt tempted to stomp my foot like a toddler. I sometimes felt tempted to try to make a change without God’s help. Have you ever sat in God’s waiting room? I know you have.

Why does God place us there? While I’m still learning how to wait patiently on God, I’ve combed the Word for hints on embracing this concept. One of those hints is that God wants to prepare us for the answer.

If I gave my 13-year-old son a car for his birthday this year, what would happen? Most likely something horrible since he’s not qualified to drive a car. He hasn’t taken a single driving lesson. He doesn’t know how the equipment functions. He barely understands how to unlock and start the car. My son would have to wait to truly unwrap that gift because he’s just not ready for it.

God alone knows when we are ready for the answer for which we are waiting. He wants us to be equipped for the answer He is providing. He knows that catastrophe could lie ahead if we move on without preparation. He knows how hard it would be to sit and stare at the answer while we continue to work on our qualifications.

Today’s verse provides the encouragement we need to keep going through the waiting period. So often our focus is either on the wait or the result we desire. But while our focus is on the wait, God’s focus is on the work. Be strong and courageous, Friend. God will provide the answers in his perfect timing.

When we begin to view life from a faith-filled perspective, we can look back over the course of the journey and realize that God was there all along. We  weren’t waiting for no reason! Spiritual hindsight comes as we adjust our lenses to see as God sees. Although we can’t see things to come, we recognize that just as God had a purpose for the wait in the past, so can He be trusted with the future.

Perhaps today you are waiting on God to provide a new job, heal a sickness, or mend a broken relationship. The journey has been long, and you are flat-out tired of waiting. Take heart. The God who loves you beyond measure is right there with you in your wait. He longs to provide the strength you need to keep from barging ahead on your own. He has not left you alone in the wait.

What we perceive as waiting on God is actually his wooing. He longs to draw you close and equip you well.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

WAIT…

Wait

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried:
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I plead and I wept for a clue to my fate,
And the Master so gently said,
Child, you must wait.
“Wait? You say, wait!” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is Your hand shortened? Or have You not heart?
By faith, I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.”
My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and YOU tell me to WAIT?
I’m needing a “yes,” a go-ahead sign,
Or even a “no” to which I can resign.
And Lord, You promised that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry;
“I’m weary of asking! I need a reply!”
Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied once again, “You must wait.”
So, I slumped in my chair, defeated and taught
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting… for what?”
He seemed, then, to kneel
And His eyes wept with mine,
And He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.”
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun,
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.
All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be,
You would have what you want-
But, you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint;
You’d not know the power I give to the faint;
You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust I’m there;
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me;
When darkness and silence were all you could see.
You’d never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of My Spirit descends like a dove;
You’d know that I give and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.
The glow of My comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight,
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have last.
You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
Yes, your dreams for your loved one,
Overnight would come true,
But, oh the loss! If I lost what I’m doing in you!
So, be silent, My child, and in time You will see
That the greatest of gifts is to get to know ME.
And though oft’ may My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still, “WAIT.”

~author unknown

Whatever your struggles, know God has a plan.  All things are in his time and not ours.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Trust and Believe

“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.”         Philippians 4:6 (TLB)

As we get closer to Belinda’s wedding, I am reminded that HE is in control.  Life’s challenges are curve balls when we least expect them.  Long work hours.  Title changes without pay increases.  Finalizing wedding details.  Paying bills.  Feeling over whelmed.  Tired.  Stressed.  Worry. None of the parts fitting together like WE planned or think they should

I have fond memories (okay, maybe not so fond) of putting together Belinda’s first Barbie car. Not the battery operated kind, but one she had to pedal.  It was a gift from two of my very good friends but none of us saw the “some assembly required” message on the box. To say the least it was a interesting night. Her first and LAST “some assembly required” toy.

Shouldn’t “some assembly required” be on other things in life too?  It’s not the most welcome sentence, but it’s an honest one.

  • Marriage licenses should include those words, in large print.
  • Job contracts should state them in bold letters.
  • Babies should exit the womb with a toe tag: “Some assembly required.”  
  • Relationships with family and friends should include directions.

Life is a gift, albeit disassembled. It comes in pieces and sometimes falls to pieces. Part A doesn’t always fit Part B. The struggle seems large and inevitably, something is missing.  Our immediate reaction is often to sit on a pity pot of “poor me” – no cares, nothing ever goes right, why me and the list goes on.  Would’t it be great if we could say that we ALWAYS respond in prayer? Why is it that only when we hit rock bottom, we come to God in prayer?

It is easy to worry.  It’s easy to try and fix the problem ourselves. It is easy to look outside ourselves for answers. The truth is that God has all of the answers for us. We may not want them. We may not like them. We may even try to negotiate the answer to one that we like better.  Life’s challenges holds lessons for us.  Some may be tough lessons while others may be the “AHA” that we needed to get back on track.

Hubby always says, “just have a conversation with God”. WOW! I make things so complex. I want to fix things when they are broke.  I want to wave the magic wand and make things right.  The truth is that it really is just that simple – have a conversation with God.  Share with him what is in my heart and ask for his help. Okay, the next step is the hardest one for me – LISTEN AND WAIT for his response.

Today, I am turning my problems over and leaving them there. I am going to WAIT and LISTEN for God’s answers. The concerns that I have today are out of my hands, the plan has been written and I need to lean on my faith to get me through.

What about you?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!